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Strong all-round effort from Bravo helps Chennai to healthy win


But there was nothing slow about Chennai's start against Rajasthan, ever since Stuart Binny overstepped on the very first ball, and Shane Watson (106 off 57 balls) smashed him back over his head off the free-hit. Chennai Super Kings have brought in Suresh Raina and Karn Sharma in place of Murali Vijay and Harbhajan Singh.

Chennai has had a shift of home ground from Chepauk to Maharashtra Cricket Association's International Stadium, Pune.

Raina came to strike and creamed off four boundaries off Ben Stokes' over.

Suresh Raina (46) made his return from a calf injury and formed part of an integral 81-run partnership with Watson, before being denied a fifty when Gowtham dived underneath his mistimed shot at deep midwicket.




It was Dwayne Bravo's 30-ball 68 against Mumbai which helped Chennai register their first win and later, Sam Billings' 23-ball 56 guided them home against Kolkata Knight Riders in a high-scoring match. The team was defeated in the first game under the guidance of new captain Ajinkya Rahane, but after that, the team won two back-to-back matches. Watson after getting reprieve early in his innings played with authority and imposed his big frame on Royals' bowlers. His previous season with Royal Challengers Bangalore was a disaster by any stretch of imagination, just like it was for Thursday's centurion Chris Gayle. Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal sent out two good overs, but Watson smacked the former for 19 runs in the ninth over to break the shackles.

Just when it looked like the evening couldn't better for Chennai, Thakur grabbed a brilliant one-handed catch off his own bowling to dismiss Binny (8). Then he returned for his final over, the 16th of the innings, to dismiss the in-form Sam Billings.

Deepak Chahar's away-moving ball was edged to first slip by Heinrich Klassen but Watson dropped the catch coming at his chest height in the second delivery of the first over. However, the South African failed to capitalise and was knocked over for seven by a Shardul Thakur cross-seam length ball. He has picked five wickets in 3 matches.

With 185 runs from four games, Sanju Samson has been the most impressive batsman for Rajasthan while skipper Rahane has amassed 130 runs.

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